Any bettor that is serious about placing smarter bets will undoubtedly do research. But, the act of researching in itself can lead to confusing, easily misunderstood information. One such anomaly that can occur is referred to as extreme event results, which give a drastically inaccurate picture of a situation.
Understanding how this anomaly occurs is key to making smarter betting decisions. Let’s take a closer look at how poor research habits can skew the underlying truth in any given situation.
What Is Extreme Event Statistics?
In a recent study researchers attempted to gain deeper insight into the nature of kidney cancer. The results obtained indicated that, out of 3,141 counties in the United States, the lowest rates of kidney cancer were found in rural, sparsely populated Republican counties.
The results put the researchers into a spin, with them attempting to analyse if it was perhaps the cleaner air or generally healthier diets that helped protect the areas from kidney cancer. But, upon closer inspection it was also found that the highest rates of kidney cancer were also found in rural, sparsely populated, Republican counties.
The fact of the matter was that, since the areas had such small populations, the statistical information itself was extremely misleading. Similar anomalies also tend to happen when bettors research sporting teams.
The Curse Of Poor Research
The underlying truth here is that small sample sizes in statistical research can be extremely dangerous, given that they tend to produce fundamentally broken results. When researching sporting teams, and other sports related statistics, inexperienced bettors will often deal in sample sizes that are simply too small to give accurate results.
If, for example, a particular player were to be researched, it may be indicated that the player was on a winning streak. But this may only be the result if taking just a single match, or handful of matches into account, and ignoring other factors.
The player may have performed reasonably well, but only if taking into account the most recent matches. If looking at the player’s career as a whole, very different information may be learned.
An almost universal truth seen in sports, in regards to the performance of teams and individuals, is that results can alter drastically from match to match, and season to season, in unexpected ways. If a team performs badly and suffers a losing streak, that team will often lean towards a better performance in the matches that follow.
Similarly, if a team performs well for a period of time, that team will tend to perform a little worse in the matches that follow. Why this occurs is probably due to a number of factors, but it is a trend that is seen almost across the board.
Hence, if research were to be done, a bettor may come to the incorrect conclusion that a team is on a winning streak, or losing streak, without taking into account the broader picture.
Hence, understanding broader patterns is more important than smaller groupings.